In first month of tax, Corp services see drop in disposable bag use

Although they still don’t have exact data illustrating the effect of D.C. bag tax on Georgetown students’ use of disposable bags, students in charge of The Corp’s services say their employees are seeing a noticeable decrease.

“[We] don’t have data on the exact number of bags that we were going through before to compare,” senior Dave Shevlin, the director of Vital Vittles, wrote in an e-mail. But every employee in the store, he said, “agreed that customers are using far fewer bags than in the past.”

He added that while many customers initially complained about the tax, “a lot of people seem to like its implications and that a portion of the money goes toward cleaning up the Anacostia,” the highly-polluted D.C. river which tax revenues will go toward improving.

Shevlin’s observations aren’t surprising—stores across D.C. have reported a drop in disposable bag use and a few weeks back, The Hoya quoted one Vitals employee as saying that in her experience, students were refusing bags when they heard about the tax.

Brad Glasser (COL ’11), the CEO of The Corp, wrote in an e-mail that at Mug, where he works, students have been opting for plates over bags when they order food.

“Across all of our services, our bag consumption seems to be decreasing steadily, but we anticipate that the trend will level off as customers become more familiar with the tax,” he wrote.

At the same time, students don’t seem to have started toting reusable bags around campus.

“Customers often leave with purses or backpacks full of groceries, but reusable bags are not regularly used yet.  We have been selling more of our canvas Corp bags lately, and we are looking into other possibilities for cheaper reusable bags,” Shevlin wrote. Corp disposable reusable bags currently cost $10.

6 Comments on “In first month of tax, Corp services see drop in disposable bag use

  1. Great news! But why aren’t we considering a backpack or purse as a reusable bag?

  2. The big stores (CVS, Safeway, Giant, Target, Harris Teeter, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods) all have good bags for $1.00. I use 3-4 of the target bags for what Safeway used to use around 8 plastic bags for (usually double bagged).

  3. First, the last sentence of this article is wrong. It says “disposable bags” cost $10. You mean “reusable.”

    Second, the Corp started selling these bags before the bag tax when demand for canvas bags was lower. That meant they were not likely able to benefit from larger bulk ordering. Now that demand for canvas bags is likely increasing, hopefully they can order in greater quantity at a lower cost and pass that savings down. It’s pretty simple economics, people.

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